Hey Pete Licata, there’s a cocktail in Seattle with your name on it.
Here now, Nik Virrey—who alongside friend Brandon Paul Weaver makes up half of Seattle’s best known professional coffee-slash-booze duo—shares a new coffee cocktail dubbed the Peat Licata.
The name, a nod to the 2013 American World Barista Championship winner and whiskey from the peat-forward Scottish island of Islay, is now being shaken and served at Naka on Capitol Hill. The kaiseki restaurant from chef/owner Shota Nakajima opened its doors last June to positive early reviews, with Virrey helming the bar.
Mixed drinks (or as Virrey calls them “plated cocktails”) match the beautifully presented multi-courses coming out of the kitchen at Naka and arrive with plenty of eye candy: one drink is served in a glass resting on crushed ice that’s strewn with fresh greens and berries, another is served shot-style inside of a carved out cucumber that looks like a flower. Plated, indeed.
This sort of elevated drinking might not work for everyone on every night, but if you want to try something for a special occasion, you’d be smart to start with Naka’s just-sweet-enough Peat Licata, served on a wood tray alongside an origami crane resting on moss, fragrant burning cedar chips, and coffee displayed in whole bean, ground, and brewed states.
Weaver created the concept, named the drink, and roasted the coffee; Virrey executed it. Naka serves the cocktail —an infusion of amaro to celebrate bitterness, Scotch whiskey for smoke, homemade nutty syrup, more bitters, and exceptionally strong brewed ice coffee—starting at 5 p.m. every day except Tuesday, when the space rests.
Check out the recipe below (origami is optional but recommended):
-Meletti, 1.25 ounces
-Ardbeg, .5 ounces
-Smoked Pecan Syrup, to taste
-Scrappy's Aromatic Bitters, to taste
-Kenya Kirinyaga Kiangoi AA (1:6 coffee to water ratio; hot-brewed ice coffee)
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake like mad, strain, and serve up.